Ah, pregnancy in all its glory. Growing at an exponential rate. Joint pain. Back pain (have you seen what happens to a pregnant woman’s spine?!). Fluid retention. Swelling. Lightning crotch (heard of that one?). Round ligament pain.
This is no walk in the park here, people.
I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant and hobbling around like an Oompa Loompa. I’ve been learning my lesson – pregnancy in your 30’s is NOT pregnancy in your 20’s.
This is why prenatal activity (after approval from your provider, of course) is not only permissible, it’s advised. Perhaps necessary! I had my babies when I was 25, 27, 29, and now I’m 31 (like my pattern?). I’m regretting that I haven’t stay more consistently active this pregnancy. Maybe I have good excuses – and it’s not like I’m a couch potato – but my lack of concentrated effort to boost my body has resulted in Oompa Loompa status.
It’s not pretty.
Why is prenatal exercise so crucial?
Well – lots of reasons! Your body is changing immensely. In order to avoid or minimize joint and back pain, it’s best to stay loose and strengthen the muscles that support your joints and bones. In past pregnancies, I minimized hip pain with squats and leg lifts. Trust me, building that strength makes a huge difference!
The other reason activity is so important: CHILDBIRTH! You’re essentially training for a marathon. IF you can build up your strength, you’ll have better endurance in labor and your body will be better able to do what it needs to do. This could also mean a better postpartum recovery. And who doesn’t want that?
A few tips:
- I usually wait until my 2nd trimester (or my 3rd apparently! Pfft) when the pregnancy is established and I’ve had my first prenatal appointment.
- Listen to your body! I don’t know about you, but I feel especially in-tune when I’m pregnant. I’m always getting feedback: This is great! or That does not feel good. Stop or slow down accordingly.
- Allow your routine to feel good! I believe prenatal activity is as much about loosening, stretching, and nurturing your structure as it is about strengthening it.
- Find things that are specifically prenatal. Prenatal yoga, prenatal circuits – things designed by professionals for the pregnant body. With these resources, you’ll be able to focus on the right areas to prepare you for labor and avoid the things you shouldn’t be doing. I love Laura Dutta’s prenatal yoga (see here), Erin O’Brien’s Prenatal Fitness Fix (see here), or anything from Sarah Beth Yoga (see here).
How does Marabou support women?
We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.
Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.
With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.